In 2015, HBO helped one of Hollywood’s bright stars, Kelly Reilly, rise to fame by casting her in the second season of the critically acclaimed series True Detective.
Today, the actress is a household name, thanks to her work as Beth Dutton, a spicy banker who will stop at nothing to gain boundless power in Yellowstone. But in the age of True Detective, the actress had only played a handful of supporting roles that sidelined her from some of the era’s biggest stars.
And while the five-time Emmy-winning crime anthology did place her in yet another second-string part, fans got a little glimpse of the budding Beth that may have piqued Taylor Sheridan’s interest and led to her current leading role.
So who does Kelly Reilly play in True Detective? Read on to find out.
In ‘True Detective,’ Kelly Reilly Plays Jordan Semyon
Season 2 of True Detective followed two officers (Rachel McAdams and Colin Farell) and a career criminal (Vince Vaughn) who come together to solve the brutal and highly disturbing murder of a city councilman. And Reilly plays Jordan Semyon, the wife of the criminal.
Jordan and her husband Frank are in the middle of a major real estate con when they get pulled into the mystery. And it’s not their first. In every scheme, Jordan’s smooth-talking seductress charms are what get them the cash. And Frank makes sure to give Jordan all the credit, often calling her “the brains.”
While Jordan Semyon does have some very humanizing vulnerabilities, like her struggle with infertility and demoralizing career. She always seems to snap back into her true self.
At her core, Jordan is an extremely self-confident boss woman who always works her way into opportunistic situations and is never afraid to speak her mind. She also has a talent for boosting her husband’s spirits and self-esteem when needed. And she never gives control to anyone.
The character is very Beth Dutton if you ask us.
More Kelly Reilly Roles You Can’t Miss
True Detective wasn’t the first high-profile project that Kelly Reilly starred in though. Since breaking into the business in 1995, she’s worked in a whole list of blockbuster films and independent gems. Below are some of her most notable works.
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Kelly Reilly’s first major part was alongside Kiera Knightly in Pride & Prejudice. In the Jane Austen classic, she plays Caroline Bingley. Caroline is a self-centered, money-hungry heiress who tries to steal the elusive Mr. Darcy’s heart before Elizabeth eventually gets the prize.
Eden Lake (2008)
This British slasher film is considered Reilly’s big break. In the film, the actress plays Jenny Greengrass, a preschool teacher who takes her boyfriend on vacation by a remote countryside lake. But when the young couple arrives, they run into a murderous band of youths who hunt people for sport.
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
In this comedic Guy Richie adaptation of this Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic, Kelly Reily plays Mary Mortson, the wife of Sherlock’s best friend, John. She also appeared in the second film of the series, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
Above Suspicion (2009-2012)
This was Reilly’s first major role in a series. The story follows the murder of a young actress that eventually leads to a long and twisted mystery surrounding her private life. Reily plays DI Anna Travis, the head investigator on the case.
And we can’t forget Yellowstone, where Reilly plays Beth, the daughter of John Dutton and wife of Rip Wheeler. This new-aged Western is undoubtedly the actress’s biggest role to date. And of all the parts she’s played, it’s also her favorite. And who could blame her?
“[Beth’s] a bit of a fantasy of all the things that you want to say, but you’d never have the courage to say or do,” Reilly once told Looper. “To be able to do that and get to do it with all those great lines, it’s just so satisfying. I love her so much.”